With the rise of automation threatening to do away with many jobs that we’ve come to recognize, aspiring professionals are focusing their attention on careers that require a high degree of creativity.
Graphic design is one such example. Demanding attention to detail, creativity, and an eye for visual aesthetics, graphic design is the perfect choice for people looking to make a living in a world dominated by appearances.
A quick overview will show you why graphic design may or may not be the right choice for you.
As long as businesses need to market themselves through visual art, there will always be a need for graphic designers. That much is a given. Does this apply to all industries? No, it depends.
In the publishing industry, for example, graphic designers are opting out. There’s less need for them, so their skills get rusty, and these professionals are forced to work in roles far away from their profession.
In the computer systems design realm, on the other hand, designers are in big demand because more and more businesses are moving online.
Graphic design requires many transferable skills that can be used in various roles, such as UI and UX design. Logo design is also a great way to find work.
When it comes to education, you don’t need a college degree to make it, although having one opens plenty of doors and gives you more credibility.
College education, however, does not teach business skills and portfolio building, which are mandatory for a designer’s success.
The next best way to measure how good of a field graphic design is, happens by examining the freelance market. Many people are doing jobs that require freedom from contracts and office environments with the rise of gig-economy.
The graphic design fits the bill perfectly. Freelancing as a graphic designer can be tough initially because there’s a glut of talent out there.
Market conditions nowadays dictate that the most skilled and most talented are the ones who get the best paying clients. It means you must break a leg to differentiate yourself from the competition. Ordinary people don’t make it, according to most statistics.
High-paying professions have skills that require years of practice to perfect. Graphic design is no exception to that rule. There’s a steep learning curve initially, which might take a year or two to overcome.
This all depends on how motivated and hard-working you are. There’s very little hand holding happening when you’re designing something like a logo or a poster ad for a company.
You need to put in the time to research, design prototypes, throw away your designs, and then make adjustments as your final product is ready.
It’s not easy being a top-performing professional in this field, but if you can’t imagine yourself doing anything else, then you have no excuses not to be the best.
Whether you are working in an agency or a freelancer looking to progress to the next level, graphic design has a very good career ladder you can climb.
Agency designers can start as juniors with a simple portfolio of work to justify their hiring. As juniors gain more experience, they can take on more senior-level roles at an agency and train other aspiring designers.
Graphic designers can become project managers given the right amount of time and education. Regarding freelancing, talented designers can attract high-paying clients and work in key roles with their designs at the forefront for everyone to see.
They can also launch their own agencies and collaborate with other designers on big projects. Due to its flexibility, there’s a very simple increase in seniority level in this field.
All the skills you acquire remain with you. You just need to get used to using a variety of new software, and this is where constant learning is an asset.
If you successfully manage to make it through all of the above, you already have a vital skill that graphic designers need; Patience. Like any other career, there are many factors to consider when looking to make a living as a graphic designer.
You need to consider how motivated you are, your expected salary range, ability to constantly learn, work-life balance, and education costs as you decide whether graphic design is suitable for you. Make sure that you set realistic expectations right from the get-go and enjoy the process.